• Premier League
  • Serie A
Premier League
Serie A


Flying start for La Rojita against Germany

Flying start for La Rojita against Germany

Merino, a Mayoral penalty and Nahuel in time added on got the goals against the holders. Spain’s Under-19s top their group.

Mikel Merino said before the match that he wanted to score and dedicate his goal to the people of Pamplona, celebrating the first running of the bulls today during the San Fermín festivities. In fact he told this newspaper he’d imitate a charging bull if he got on the scoresheet. Said and done: a goal after eight minutes and he wheeled away, horns up, in tribute to the people of his town.

After the opening goal against the reigning champions, Spain’s Under 19s, La Rojita (the mini-reds) took control of the match and two tame shots from Sané were the sum offensive total for the Germans in the first half. Asensio created the magic in attack for Spain, well accompanied by Mayoral, always available, and Pedraza, who set up one and caused no end of trouble on the left. In the midfield Merino and Rodrigo swept up all the German intents to attack, while Ceballos was all brains and great final passes. The Betis player was superb all match.

In the second half Spain suffered from tiredness and the Germans put the pressure on for the first 25 minutes. It was possibly an act of kindness to Sivera by his teammates though – he was the only player who hadn’t shone up to that point and when he was called into action he was on fire, making three great saves to shore up his side’s lead when they were somewhat under the cosh. Borja Mayoral did the rest, winning a penalty in 70 minutes, scoring it with style and putting the result beyond doubt.

In the final part of the match the Germans fought with their habitual pride, but it was too late. Nahuel, in time added on, crowned the night with the third: 0-3 against the holders and with the sensation of having been able to have done more had the game demanded it. Only the sending off of Pedraza in the 89th minute took the shine off a near perfect start to the tournament for Spain, who top their group. (The Netherlands beat Russia 1-0 in the other match in Group B). The first step on the road…

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